Fashion Trail: A couturier's tale of inspiration from her travel diaries
Anjali Patel Mehta shares stories behind her two new collections inspired by her travels
This summer, as plans for a vacation during a long hiatus are put together, and the questions for cool, comfy, and luxurious clothing arise, the answers can be found right here in Chennai. Kiran Rao and Studio Verandah’s Anjali Patel Mehta recently launched the newest of a three-part collection — Nadis Resort ’23. Accompanied by the Maison Twenty Six, these collections have graced the grounds of Amethyst, since mid-March. We spoke to Anjali to know more about these collections.
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Diving into the inspirations of the Nadis collection, she says, “It is inspired by a boutique hotel in Srinagar which I fell in love with.” Her experiences at the venue and the city during a lockdown visit introduced her to a variety of landscapes and environments that inspired her to formulate the graceful collection. The garden of the boutique hotel, which was planted organically, the “beautiful flora and fauna of Kashmir and the Dachigam National Reserve, where leopards roam freely,” all contributed to developing an artistic framework for all stitches that are launched as part of this collection.
Letting us in on Maison Twenty Six, Anjali tells us that it was inspired by Kiran’s Franco-Tamilian villa in Puducherry. The collection has colourful anecdotes and motifs that could be found in various elements like the palms, the tiles, “the beautiful old French flooring,” and the various patterns she observed in the property. She also highlights a certain ‘joy’ that she observed in the atmosphere along with the starry night that moved her immensely to encapsulate such elements in this collection.
The specific spread of floral imagery also has a vital contribution to the creation of these collections. For Maison Twenty Six, it was the fresh jasmines that inspired the inclusion of flowers into the design. As for Nadis Resort ’23, the blooming “medley of flowers” including the Pot Marigold, the Salvia (a seasonal favourite of hers), and the Daliah from the Harvan Garden in Kashmir were the key floral elements. The inclusion of the Kashmiri landscapes and the Kashmiri gulaab were essential additions to the designs of the collection.
For Nadis, the tones of red and green are the most vital part of the colour palette. Meanwhile, the Maison Twenty Six collection carries a more diverse colour palette. Blue, pink, grey, and rust culminate in a vibrant combination that complements the designs magnificently. The collections follow the use of the brand’s signature fabrics. Sustainable yarns, following the closed-loop techniques, were used for the same. Ecovero, tensile, handloom cotton (although limited), and recycled denim are some of the fabrics that are the major contributors to their collections due to their bio-degradability. Another important fabric used is Bemberg — due to its “beautiful hand feel,” and its feature of being a substitute for the shamoz silk satin.
Additionally, Studio Verandah browsers can also expect to look forward to more kaftans, scarves, and scarf-dresses which have made a “big entry this year.” Chennaiites can also explore a special edit themed around the resort sari that the couturier has curated just for the city. As “people in Chennai are very chic,” and to cater to the sari culture in Chennai, Anjali has curated this edit as well.